Thermodynamic Equilibrium

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Thermodynamic Equilibrium

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A very general result from statistical mechanics which states that if a system is in equilibrium, all processes which can exchange energy must be exactly balanced by the reverse process so that there is no net exchange of energy. For instance, ionization must be balanced by recombination, bremsstrahlung by absorption, etc. If a plasma complies with this statement, the distribution function of particle energies and excited energy levels of the atoms can be obtained from the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution which is a function only of the temperature. [[/a>|/a> ]]

References

This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use